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Minutes - March 30, 2009
MINUTES
SELECTMEN’S MEETING
GRIFFIN ROOM, TOWN HALL
MONDAY, MARCH 30, 2009
7:00 P.M.

SELECTMEN PRESENT:  Cole, LaMantia, Marsland, McManus, Wilkins

OTHERS PRESENT:  Town Administrator James Merriam, Assistant Town Administrator Nan Balmer, Chief Mason, Chief Flynn, and others.

MEETING CALLED TO ORDER at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman Wilkins.

CONSENT AGENDA

A.      Approve minutes – March 16, 2009 Regular Session
B.      Request for assistance from the Caleb Chase Fund in the amount of $700 for Nstar bill
C.      Approve new annual Weekday and Sunday Entertainment Licenses for Brax Landing
D.      Approve Common Victualler and Automatic Amusement Licenses for Seafood Sam’s (changing from annual to seasonal)
E.      Approve Innholders License for Inn of Treasured Memories (changing from seasonal to annual)
F.      Approve seasonal All Alcoholic Liquor License renewal for Casa di Babbo, Inc. d/b/a Casa di Babbo Grille

Chairman Wilkins recommended moving the seasonal renewal of Seafood Sam’s wine and malt license to the Consent Agenda as listed under New Business but the Board did not act on his recommendation.  He also stressed the importance of vendors honoring the time deadlines for license renewals.  Mr. Marsland commented that the Board had received a document indicating that Seafood Sam’s had outstanding taxes and recommended holding the license.

Mr. McManus moved to approve the Consent Agenda and the recommended actions thereon.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

NEW BUSINESS

A.      Approve Seasonal Renewal of Wine & Malt License for Seafood Sam’s

Mr. Merriam explained that Town Meeting accepted Chapter 40, Section 57 which allows the Town to deny licenses for those who neglected to pay taxes.  He noted that in this case the taxes outstanding amount to $6,786.21 and the liquor license fee is $1,728.  He recommended that the Board vote to approve the license contingent upon the Town receiving payment.  Mr. McManus moved to grant the license renewal application for Seafood Sam’s contingent on receipt of payment for all taxes and fees due the Town.  Mr. Cole seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

B.  Approve filling Principal Clerk vacancy at Community Center

Mr. McManus moved to approve filling the Principal Clerk position at the Community Center.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

PUBLIC HEARINGS/PRESENTATIONS (Not before 7:15 P.M.)

A.      Public Hearing on proposed shellfishing, ramp and tuna off-loading fee charges

Mr. Cole read the hearing notice into record.  With regard to the shellfishing fees, Mr. Leach explained that the proposal from the Waterways Committee is to double the current fees.  He noted that Harwich fees are among the lowest and he took questions from the Board.  Mr. McManus moved to close the hearing.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

With regard to the tuna off-loading fees, Mr. Leach explained that Harwich was a significant tuna port for many years and during the peak years we sold as much as 85 off-loading permits in a season.  He noted that there has been a tremendous tailspin in the past three years and that in the past two seasons we only sold one permit.  He stated that we had been charging $375 for off-loading permits for the season and $500 to the buyers and at the same time had closed our fuel dock.  He explained that the fishermen are going to Stage Harbor in Chatham to land their fish for $25 each and pick up their fuel.  He noted that the Waterways Committee is recommending that we reduce our fees to $100 per boat per season for the off-loading permit and $200 for the tuna buyers to encourage them to drop their fish in Harwich and purchase fuel from either Harwich Port Boat Yard or Allen Harbor Marine Service.  The Board discussed the proposal with Mr. Leach and Mr. Hart of the Waterways Committee.  Mr. McManus moved to close the tuna boat portion of the Public Hearing.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

With regard to the boat ramp fees, Mr. Marsland moved to open the hearing.  Mr. McManus seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.  Mr. Leach explained that the Waterways Committee is proposing a moderate increase in the boat ramp use fee to $10 for the daily launching fee and $100 for the season launching fee.  He noted that any fee the Board approves in this area must be accepted by the Public Access Board.  Mr. Marsland moved to close the hearing.  Mr. McManus seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. McManus moved to approve the proposed increases in the shellfish fees and approve the decrease in the tuna offloading fee from $375 to $100, and to approve a decrease in the tuna off-loading buyer fee from $500 to $25 and to approve of the increases in the boat ramp fees as proposed.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. McManus moved to refer the matter of the permits that are allowed to use the fuel truck at Saquatucket Harbor back to the Waterways Committee for their study and report.  Mr. LaMantia seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

OLD BUSINESS

A.      Town Administrator’s Action Plan in response to Performance Evaluation

The Board took no action on this item.

B.      Vote Selectmen’s positions on Annual Town Meeting warrant articles

Mr. LaMantia and Mr. McManus updated the Board on the progress of the Budget Subcommittee including impacts of proposed service reductions.  Chairman Wilkins requested that the Subcommittee develop a budget planning schedule for discussion of proposals with the Board in preparation for Town Meeting.

The Board discussed the petition articles with the petitioners.  Jeremy Gingras spoke on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce.  Mr. Marsland moved to support Article 41, Promote the Town of Harwich, by petition $15,000 from free cash.  Mr. Cole seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Bob Greene spoke in support of the private libraries.  The Board requested further information from the trustees including areas for possible budget reductions.  Mr. Marsland moved to hold on Article 42, Defray Expenses of the Chase Library and the Harwich Port Library.  Mr. Cole seconded the motion.  Mr. McManus invited them to bring information before the Budget Subcommittee.  The motion carried by a unanimous vote.

With regard to Article 43, Nine-Hole Membership to Cranberry Valley Golf Course, Mr. Cole moved to not vote on this until we have heard from at least the Golf Committee, if not the petitioner, or both.  Chairman Wilkins seconded the motion.  No vote was taken.  Mr. Merriam noted that the Golf Committee spoke against this article at a Finance Committee meeting.  After further discussion, Mr. McManus moved that the Board of Selectmen support a position to indefinitely postpone the article.  Chairman Wilkins seconded the motion and the motion carried by a 4-1-0 vote with Mr. Marsland in opposition.

With regard to Article 44, Repeal Section VII of the Harwich By-Laws, Mr. Merriam stated that the petitioner and the Planning Board have worked to reach a compromise under Article 35 and the changes have been given to Town Counsel to determine if they are still within the scope of the original article.   Mr. Marsland moved to hold on Article 44.  Mr. McManus seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

With regard to Article 45, Fund Reconstruction of Old Post Road, Mr. Merriam noted that the Planning Board has not acted on it yet as they are awaiting further information from the Highway Department.  Mr. McManus moved to take a position of support for Article 45.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

C.      Selectmen’s positions on Special Town Meeting warrant articles

Mr. Cole recommended several minor editorial changes to the Special Town Meeting warrant.

Mr. McManus moved to take a position of support on Article 1, Accept Codification of the General By-Laws.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. McManus moved to take a position of support on Article 2, Accept Codification of the Zoning By-Laws.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. McManus moved that the Board of Selectmen support the passage of Article 3, Amend Town By-Law – Kennel Licenses.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. McManus moved to support Article 4, Fund Police and Fire Claims Trust Fund.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. McManus moved to support Article 5, Snow and Ice Deficit, at $265,000 coming out of free cash.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion for discussion.  He suggested holding on this article until we hear from Representative Peake on the bill filed by Representative Perry to expand use of Chapter 90 funds to include snow and ice deficits for this year.  After discussion, the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. McManus moved to support indefinitely postponing Article 6, Reserve for Future Appropriation Amounts from FY 2009 Community Preservation Fund Estimated Annual Revenues.  Mr. LaMantia seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.
     
Mr. Marsland moved to indefinitely postpone Article 7, Amend Personnel By-Law.  Mr. LaMantia seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Mr. Marsland moved to support Article 8, An Act Relative to Health Insurance Coverage for Paid Elected Officials.  Mr. LaMantia seconded the motion and the motion carried by a 4-1-0 vote with Chairman Wilkins in opposition.

Mr. McManus moved to table taking action on Article 9, Hire Two Day Firefighters/Paramedics, until such time as we have had a presentation of the study.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

D.      Amend Special Town Meeting Article 17

Mr. McManus moved to reopen the Special Town Meeting warrant.  Chairman Wilkins seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.  Mr. McManus moved to replace the existing Article 17 with the new proposed Article 17.  Mr. Cole seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.  Mr. McManus moved to reclose the Special Town Meeting warrant.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

E.      Vote to sign Special Town Meeting warrant

Mr. McManus moved to sign the Special Town Meeting warrant as they just amended it and with the minor amendments that Mr. Cole presented.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

F.      Review ballot questions

The Board agreed to bring back this item next week.

TOWN ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT

Mr. Merriam delivered the following report to the Board:

CV House Bill filed by Rep. Peake
An Act authorizing the town of Harwich to convey certain recreational land.

        Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1.  The Town of Harwich may convey a certain parcel of land in the town acquired for recreational purposes.  The parcel is as shown on a plan entitled “Plan of Land in Harwich Massachusetts located at Cranberry Valley Golf Course” dated March 17, 2008 prepared by the Town of Harwich Engineering Department.  Said parcel is shown as a portion of Parcel H1 shown on Town assessors’ map 61 and containing 1,501 Sq. Ft.        

Finance Committee
Town Moderator Mike Ford has appointed Brian Widegren to FinCom to serve until June 30, 2009. The FinCom votes taken on or before March 31st will be included in the printed warrant.

FY 10 Budget Amendment #2
The Selectmen’s Budget Subcommittee, Dave Ryan and I are working on a draft Amendment #2. We’ll wait for the House Ways and Means Budget for Local Aid before presenting it to you.

Tom Leach update on Boat Storage at Saquatucket Harbor
Jack Shepard from Public Access Board finally called me back.  He is sending a letter to us stating that boat storage on the PBA property would be a violation of 6 state regulations and therefore it can not be done in the east lot.  Apparently, Eastham had made the same request.
I asked him if this would affect the storage of boats in the west lot and he said that would not be their issue since that was not on their turf.  I also learned that Saquatucket is a Wallup/Breaux Project for them and they submit for Federal reimbursement. This means that equality of resident/non-resident fees need to be maintained. He was not against increasing common carrier ramp charges.  I also learned from him that Sandwich is not in the PBA program and therefore vessel storage there can take place. However, he cautioned against consideration of doing storage in an open area that is not secure stating the liability that the Town may be incurring for the few thousand dollars of profit does not make sense. His words.

Old Post Road Private Petition
O’Reilly revised the engineer’s estimate to $92,125 to include full pulverization as required by the Highway Dept. and reduction of contingency to 10 percent as required in the Town’s by-law.

ADJOURNMENT

Mr. Cole moved to adjourn at 10:31 p.m.  Mr. Marsland seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.

Respectfully submitted,

Ann Steidel
Recording Secretary


 
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